Reuters poll says Turkish economy grew 5 percent in last quarter of 2019

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Turkey’s economy grew 5 percent in the fourth quarter and expanded 0.6 percent in the year as a whole, just above the government forecast, a Reuters poll showed on Monday as the country shook off the recessionary impact of a 2018 currency crisis.

The major emerging market economy contracted 2.3 percent in the first quarter and 1.6 percent in the second quarter, before growing a modest 0.9 percent year-on-year in the third quarter.

In a poll of 16 economists, the median forecast was for 5.0 percent year-on-year growth in the fourth quarter.

Turkish economic growth has averaged around 5 percent over the last two decades. But the 2018 crisis cut the Turkish lira’s value by nearly 30 percent, sent inflation soaring and severely crimped imports.

The central bank responded to the crisis by raising its policy rate to 24 percent, where it had stayed until last July. It has cut rates by 1,325 basis points since then in order to boost growth.

Full-year growth was seen at 0.6 percent, just above the government’s forecast of 0.5 percent announced in September. Previously it had forecast 2019 growth of 2.3 percent.

Economist forecasts for fourth quarter growth ranged between 4.0 percent and 6.1 percent, full-year growth forecasts range between 0.4 percent and 1 percent.

Turkish industrial production climbed 8.6 percent year-on-year in December, rising for a fourth straight month, further signaling a sharp economic pickup in the last quarter of 2019.

Economists predicted annual 4 percent growth this year according to the median estimate of the poll, below a government forecast of 5 percent.

The Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) will publish the Turkish economic growth data on March 2 at 0700 GMT.

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